Shepherd's Accounts of Space and Time

Mind (forthcoming)
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There is an apparent tension in Shepherd’s accounts of space and time. Firstly, Shepherd explicitly claims that we know that the space and time of the unperceived world exist because they cause our phenomenal experience of them. Secondly, Shepherd emphasizes that empty space and time do not have the power to effect any change in the world. My proposal is that for Shepherd time has exactly one causal power: to provide for the continued existence of self-same or changing objects. Because Shepherd takes causation to be a relation whereby two objects combine to form a third, their effect, whenever we perceive a continually existing object, since time is a proper part of such objects, our perception of time is caused by time itself. Likewise, space’s causal power is to provide for the possibility of the motion or rest of objects, and so when we perceive objects with space as a proper part, we come into causal contact with space.

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David Landy
San Francisco State University


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